Yaqut, Al-Hamawi, Shihab Addin Abdullah Al- Roumi (D. AD 1229/ Hijrah 626) in the Lands Index Economic Conditions: A Historical Study

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Jamal Joheh- Supervisor
Dr. Othman Tall- External Examiner
Dr. Adnan Melhem- Internal Examiner
Prof. Jamal Jodeh/supervisor
Ruqaya Abdallah Ahmad Abu Leil
Historic Geography was an interest to the Muslim people; thus they formed their own geographic school and many geographers emerged, as a result. Yaqut Shihab Addin Abu Abdullah Bin Al-Hamawi Al-Roumi (574-626H/ 1178-1229G) was one of those main geographers. Al-Hamawi was, first, a slave to a Muslim merchant, then, got freed and entered the practice of merchandise profession and merged within Al-Ansar. He, since early childhood, received his education, reading, writing, Fiqh, syntax and arithmetics under the support of his Master who granted him all facilities. He used to join his Master in his commercial trips, a practice that influenced his knowledge and experience with the different sciences and cultures. He wrote several books on Geography and literature of which Lands Index was prominent. Al-Hamawi lived during the era of Mangolian incursion to the Islamic world. He specialized in book trade. His writings reflected the bad political conditions of the Muslims at that time. Geographic sources were considered of the significant publications which addressed the economic conditions in the Islamic countries. Lands Index was a major source that talked about the cities, villages, and localities in the Islamic regions. The Index traced the meaning of each locality, linguistically and technically. It addressed the history of some countries based on the information available, as well as the victories of Muslims, whether they were as a result of reconciliation or force. In the same Index, Al-Hamawi talked about the amount of taxes used to be paid by a country from time to time such as jizya and Kharaj. The deductions granted by the State to the elite, their size and resources, the charitable and descendant waqf in some regions and countries were described, as well. The agricultural and animal life in various countries were addressed in the Index; the exports and imports, minerals and their locations, industries and their sources (agriculture, minerals, or animals) all were reported in the Index. Being a merchant, Al-Hamawi focused on the commercial roads, merchants, ports, trade clients and the way districts changed commercially as a result of insecurity and the change of trade roads. In some cases, he talked about measurements, weights and money in some districts. Finally, it could be said that as a result of his interest in the localities and their history, his familiarity with the agricultural, animal and mineral circumstances, in addition to his interest in the various industries, exports and imports, weights and measurements, Al-Hamawi's Lands Index is considered an economic encyclopedia which has eternalized its writer.
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